I had the most profound experience over the past weekend. I was lucky enough to attend the first ever Cancer Survivors Summit that was held at His People Church in N1 City in Cape Town. It was absolutely amazing and completely relevant and much much needed. I applaud the amazing Linda Greef from Cancercare and People Living with Cancer for this significant milestone.
It was the first time I was basically surrounded by so many Cancer Patients / Survivors at any given time. I must admit that I felt euphoric and overwhelmed because I never thought that such an event would ever happen here in South Africa. Throughout my cancer journey I really struggled with loneliness and searched and scoured the internet looking for events like this anywhere on our continent of Africa – and there was none! I feel that the more events there are like this, the less people will agonize about their health. It provides hope and positive support that is much needed to help patients and survivors cope with their circumstances.
I had the pleasure of meeting Conn Bertish from Cancer Dojo (and even got a hug) who is designing an app to help cancer patients deal with their emotions by using creativity. As a cancer survivor himself, he believes in a science called psychoneuroimmunology, which basically states that your state of mind can determine your health and help with your healing. So you speak to your cancer, and imagine it, you play with it, you laugh at it and in turn you feel positive and your immune system functions better and helps your body fight your cancer. Amazing! His project is exciting and innovative. I can’t wait for his app to be launched and wish him the very best with his venture!
The only part of the event I did not enjoy was the Doctors who presented in the opening talks. From a cancer patients perspective I felt their cold and clinical medical jargon a bit condescending and sometimes a bit self-indulgent… I don’t care to hear about how I am at higher risk of getting a secondary cancer just because I have survived a primary cancer… I also don’t care much to hear that alternative or natural supplementation is nothing but a hoax… I feel that these speakers dampened the lively spirit and intention of the event… which primarily was to foster hope and provide support!
On a lighter note I left the event feeling relieved and hopeful and invigorated, but mostly I am inspired! Thank You I am so grateful for this experience!
I have come to this conclusion: When you face your own mortality, one of two things happen… You either get so scared that you STOP living OR you find SUCH purpose that you START LIVING!